A/n: Hello again all who read my stories. First, I want to start by thanking every single person who has reviewed for any of my stories. Whether it was through all four previous stories or just recently. You guys keep me writing!! Thanks!!
Second...did everyone see the movie? OMG I loved it but what did you guys think? The fifth book was my favorite and I think they did the best job with the time they had.
Thirdly, ok the book is coming out on the twenty-first. I don't want to say that I'm not going to update until after the book comes out but this chapter took me a while to write (and it didn't come out how I wanted it) and I want to get the second and third one done before I post again. Also because I'm afraid I might be too depressed to write. I have complete faith in JK Rowling to finish up the books in the best way but still...someones going to die. After the sixth book I was bummed for a few days but this is that last one and...I probably sound completely crazy but basically my point it that it's possible there won't be another update until after the book comes out.
Fourth, the house and house area where they live is modeled after my Aunt and Uncle's house in California and the character, Jenna, that you will meet is modeled after my Aunt. Looks wise she's a complete opposite but her personality was what was similar and the organic thing...you'll understand when you read so I'll stop now.
And finally, with this story I tried something a little new. Each chapter is going to start out with a little narraration (sp?) by Hermione. It's still first person pov. but she's going to say something at the beginning and the end that kind of introduces the chapters and concludes the chapters...if I'm making any sense. You'll see.
Well here we are, onto my favorite place in the world and hopefully where I'll be living after I graduate!
Every step you take, is a step away from where you used to be. -Brian Chargualaf.
I have just recently discovered that life is unpredictable. It takes you all over the place and where you're left standing is where you were meant to be. At twenty years old I have yet to finish living. I have, however opened a successful business, published a book, gotten married, moved to a foreign country, had a baby, published another book, and moved yet again. It has been said in articles about me and my books or by friends and family that I've accomplished everything possible in a lifetime…at twenty years old. I disagree with them. Yes, I have done a lot in my twenty years of life but no, I don't believe I experienced everything possible in life.
I can check fallen in love off my list as well as start a family but for the rest of the checks on my list I have time. I have all the time in the world to do things that truly make life worth living. I can watch my daughter grow up, love my husband forever and ever, and let life take me where it's going to take me.
Two summers ago I was a seventeen-year-old girl in love who didn't quite have life figured out. I went to finish school and came up with a plan and fell even deeper in love. And eventually I followed my husband where his passion took him.
Several steps away from where I was two summers ago, I'm now sitting on the back porch of my new house. I am not the same girl at all but I feel like I have truly found the place where I'm meant to be…
I pulled my legs up onto the chair with me and took a drink from the steaming mug of tea in my hands. I had on a large sweater over my pajamas to keep me warm in California's chilly winter air. It wasn't going to be long before Willa began crying but for now I'm enjoying life in the moment.
The first official night was last night. We arrived yesterday morning and after taking a taxi, we got to the house. All of our things were already here and despite how tired I was I began working on organizing the house. The time change was nine hours behind our home in Paris and after a lot of sleep (interrupted several times by Willa) it was mid morning making it an entire day that we had been in California. The fact that I could sit outside on a January morning and not have to wear ten layers of clothes only contributed to my feelings of the beautiful area. Our cozy house was another contributing factor, as was the view of the ocean from the small balcony outside of my room, the beautiful college campus that I would soon be visiting, and just the beauty, comfort, and the feeling like I belonged here in California.
The door into the house slid open and I turned to see a yawning Ron.
"Morning my love." He said with a big smile on his face. Despite how tired he was from the time change I could tell that he was happy here too.
"Good morning!" I said and leaned forward to give him a kiss.
"What're you thinking about?" Ron asked. I smiled.
"Life." I answered simply.
"Life is good." Ron said. He kicked his feet up on the table and stuck his hands behind his head. I laughed.
"It is." I agreed. I looked around at the backyard. It wasn't the biggest but it worked. We lived in a nice little housing area complex type thingy where there was a pool and hot tub just a little bit down the street, and at the bottom of the hill where our line of houses was there's a parking spot where I parked my Volkswagen Jetta. The daycare was in a house just a little further down than the pool and out of the house complex, down the street and a little bit further from there was San Clemente State Beach. The best thing about where we lived was that it was a Wizard neighborhood so we didn't have to worry about hiding certain things from muggles.
Our backyard consisted of a grill and small table right outside of the glass sliding doors that led to the house. And a grass area where Willa could play once she gets older.
"I think we'll like living here." Ron said, surveying the backyard when I did. "I'll have my job and you'll have school, and Willa will grow up in a good place." Ron turned and smiled at me.
"I already love it." I said, smiling back and draining the last sip of tea. "I'll be right back." I told him. I got up and went inside to refill my cup of tea and to get Ron a cup of tea. The doors opened to the living room. The living room had a couch, a recliner, and a nice big wooden coffee table. Behind the couch there was a dining room table and a place setting for four and a baby. Next to the dinning room table there were two barstools set up at the kitchen counter. The kitchen was small but there was room enough for me to cook in there. There were three doors out of the house. One led to the garage where Ron's Chevy TrailBlazer was parked, one led to the fenced in front of the house, and one led to the back porch where we put a grill and a small table. There were stairs that led upstairs where the bedrooms and a second bathroom were. It wasn't a very big house; it had two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, a decent sized living room/dinning room, a small kitchen, and a place for us to sit either in the front or the back. We were comfortable here and Midnight liked it here as well; she was lazing on the recliner.
I came back out of the porch where I found Ron fiddling with the grill.
"Never used one of these things before. But it could be interesting to cook on." Ron said.
"Good well you can make dinner tonight." I said. Ron smiled.
"I'll get on that as soon as I get back." Ron said. He had to stop into the California Gazette office at noon to get things started. Willa and I were going to go find Sparks Street, which was like the Diagon Alley of San Clemente. We were going to get an idea of what was around and I wanted to see if either of my books were in a bookstore over here.
For a few minutes we sat in the sunny, chilly backyard discussing our future in California and what our lives were going to be like. That was until the baby monitor projected Willa's cry through it.
And hour later Willa was in her car seat, I was sitting in the driver's seat, and I spent the last five minutes trying to get the nerve to start the car. Ron had driven past us two minutes ago off to work. I was trying to assure myself that Willa would be safe driving. She was buckled in and just sucking on he pacifier.
"Ayallayaaaayaaa." Willa yammered on in her baby talk. I smiled and looked into the rearview mirror at the backseat. Taking a deep breath I started the car and slowly backed out of the parking space. When Willa didn't cry or fuss and her car seat stayed still I continued to drive forward on the opposite side of the road than I would have in England.
We made it out of the house complex and down the road (slowly). I followed the directions that I had gotten before we moved and parked in front of an old souvenir shop that was hidden away from muggles. I transferred Willa from the car seat to her stroller and gathered everything we would need.
I pushed the stroller into the old shop that was empty except for an old man dressed in a t-shirt that advertised San Clemente who sat behind the register looking as if he were asleep. The man looked paler than anyone else I'd seen in California so far.
"Welcome to San Clemente Souvenirs." The man said in a raspy voice upon noticing I was here. Strangely he still looked like he was asleep. "Can I assume that you're here for the Sparks Street entrance since I haven't sold an actual knickknack, t-shirt, or even a measley shell in ten years?"
"Um." I said, noticing the door labeled Sparks Street and wondering if there was a way to slip through and avoid the talking. "I was just going to Sparks Street." I felt bad about the not selling a thing in ten years part. "But on my way out I was planning on purchasing a t-shirt for a friend who lives in Paris."
"New to the area?" The man asked.
"Yes." I nodded.
"From England?" He questioned, noticing that I did not have an American accent. I felt bad for the man who didn't seem like he talked to anyone much during the day, let alone got out much.
"Originally but then it was Paris for a year and now we're here for good." I said. I took a step forward to leave but he didn't seem to be finished with the conversation.
"You look familiar. Are you famous? We don't get many of the famous crowd here. Usually they stay in the L.A. area." He noted. "Although some of the famous crowd come to smaller towns to get away." He went on, looking at me as if he were trying to remember.
"I wrote two books." I offered, doubting that this was the reason he thought I looked familiar. To me it looked as if his eyes weren't even open so I doubted he even saw me clearly.
"No, no." He said, scratching his chin. "I remember seeing your face in a newspaper article." I had been in several but those had been for my books. There were the ones during the middle of sixth year right after the war that had most likely been all over the world…
"Well I just moved here yesterday. Maybe I just look like someone else." I didn't really feel like getting into the past. I refused to do interviews and talk much about the books of the past I was writing. It was hard enough writing the first one about the Sorcerer's Stone. It was going to keep getting more difficult through each book. "Thank you but we've got to get going. We'll be back." The man nodded and turned back to the newspaper on his desk. He would know who I was soon enough.
I pushed Willa's stroller through the door labeled Sparks Street and we walked out onto a sunny street. I made sure that Willa's delicate baby skin was safe from the sun and warm enough from the chill before pushing a pair of sunglasses over my nose and beginning the walk down the street.
Another thing I loved about California was that people were simpler in the way they dressed rather than in Pairs where everyone was always dressed to the nines. I didn't feel like I would stand out if I wore a pair of jeans, a white hooded top over a pink camisole, my Ugg boots, and a jean jacket. My hair was up in a ponytail and left my face make-up free. I tried to go for the casual but still fashionable in California. It was nice for once to feel comfortable and not worry about standing out. Willa was also in the comfortable but stylish look with a little red dress and black leggings. She had on her own little jean jacket as well as a sweater underneath that. We were ready to explore Sparks Street!
A little bit down the street I stopped at a newsstand where I picked up a copy of Magical Parenting and In Style Witch. I decided that I could be a mother as well as a stylish Californian Witch. There were ways to compromise the twenty-year-old mother thing. I stuck the magazines under the stroller and continued my walk. Willa began fussing so I stopped at a bench and pulled her out of her stroller. In my arms she stopped crying and grabbed onto my fingers. Eventually I got a pacifier out of the diaper bag and Willa was calm again. When I saw her yawn I knew she would be falling asleep any second for her early afternoon nap.
"Night little girl." I said, kissing her forehead and placing her back in her stroller. She yawned again and then her gorgeous blue eyes shut.
"Adorable." I heard someone say behind me. I turned around to see a woman standing behind the bench, looking at Willa.
"Yes, she is. Thank you." I said, being polite. Behind her I noticed a bookstore called The Book Loft. Here was the bookstore I had been looking for.
"How old is she?" The woman asked. She had a friendly smile and kind light blue eyes. She had blond hair that fell just past her shoulders and a pair of sunglasses resting on top of her head. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a black wrap sweater.
"Willa's just a little over two months old." I said, smiling.
"Willa is such a pretty name." The woman said. She stuck her hand out. "I'm Jenna."
"It's great to meet you. I'm Hermione." I said, shaking her hand.
"I know." Jenna said, smiling. "I own The Book Loft and I saw you out here, I just had to come say hi." I smiled and felt my cheeks turn slightly red. "We have copies of both of your books in here. It's incredible that you're just twenty years old and you already have two books published."
"I started when I was seventeen." I said. "I like writing about things important to me." That was my usual response when I was asked about it.
"Hermione the first book of your series, Harry Potter: The Real Story was incredible. It's so refreshing to know how everything really happened and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's said this. You've probably done tons of interviews." Jenna said.
"Well, I did a book signing in Paris for some friends and a few brief interviews where I got to pre-approve the questions but no one has honestly said it was good to hear the truth of it."
"Your book sells like crazy." Jenna said. "And everyone who I recommend it to, is dying to know the truth." I smiled.
"Thank you. It means a lot to hear that." I said. Jenna smiled back.
"Want to come in?" Jenna asked gesturing towards The Book Loft. "I never usually get to meet the authors of the books we carry." I looked down at Willa who was asleep, the quaint little bookshop, and the woman who was being so kind to me.
"Yes, that would be lovely." I said. Jenna smiled and opened the door. I pushed Willa's stroller into the shop. It was a big shop with a cozy feeling to it. There were a lot of bookshelves and comfy chairs all around. The atmosphere actually reminded me of R and H Books which was another place where I felt comfortable.
"Here, let's sit here." Jenna suggested. We sat down in two chairs by the window.
"This is a great bookshop." I said.
"I've had it for sixteen years." Jenna said, looking around at her shop. I looked at her strangely. Jenna didn't really look old enough to own a shop for sixteen years. I had assumed twenty-five at the youngest maybe thirty but still…she had it since she was fourteen? "I'm thirty-eight." Jenna answered to my confused expression.
"You don't look thirty-eight." I said, blatantly. Jenna laughed.
"Everyone asks me what my secret is." Jenna said. "I just take care of myself, exercise regularly, and eat organic food."
"Wow." I said. "That's one hell of a secret." Jenna laughed.
"Well enough about me I want to know about you." Jenna said.
"Me? I'm twenty years old. I have a beautiful baby daughter, a wonderful husband, I own a bookstore in England, I wrote two books, and am currently working on the third. That's my life story in a few words."
Jenna asked me more questions about me and my life. I told her about the Gazette, Paris, school, and my bookshop. After I was done talking about me, I asked her about hers. I bonded really well with this woman; we had a lot in common. Jenna owned a bookstore, married at a young age, loved life in California, and wrote books as well. She's published one in her late twenties called Being Organic another one in her early thirties called My Happy Life (talking about her life, her successes, her husband of seventeen years, and how she lives a happy life as she gets closer to forty), and most recently a book called Ageing Gracefully. I learned a lot about her during our talk. Jenna was all about living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of herself and her husband who she's still madly in love with. She never had any children but has a lot of nieces and nephews on the east coast.
"AhaayaaaAHaaa." Willa said from her stroller, interrupting the conversation. I lifted her out and held her close to me but she kept fussing.
"Come and visit any time you want. You're always welcome here." Jenna said as she walked me to the door.
"It was really great to meet you Jenna. I promise Willa and I will be back." I assured her as I placed the pacifier that fell from Willa's mouth back in.
"Let me know if you need anything. I'm always here." Jenna said.
"Thanks." I smiled before turning to leave with a copy of all three of her books. I had signed mine and she had signed hers. It was nice to have already made a friend in California.
Willa calmed down on the walk a little bit but I knew we were going to have to head home soon. She was going to need to be fed, changed, and put down in her crib for a real nap.
Two hours later Willa had been napping for an hour and I was sitting on the couch a quarter of the way through Jenna's first book. Willa and I had grocery shopped and drove by the beach to check it out. I was expecting Ron home with a movie in an hour and Willa would be up by then anyways. Tiredly, I tiled my head back against the arm of the couch where Midnight was laying. I shut my eyes and the book fell from my hands. Just as I was transitioning from awake to semi-asleep, I heard my cell phone go off.
"Hey Gin." I said into the phone, doing some quick mental math to figure out that it was one a.m. in Paris. "Up for an early feeding?"
"Early, late…whatever." Ginny responded with a yawn.
"And how is that beautiful baby girl of yours?" I asked.
"Beautiful." Ginny answered. She perked up slightly. "We went on our first Paris outing today. Lily-Lyn loves Paris."
"I'm sure. She's just like her mum." I responded, sleepily smiling to someone who couldn't even see me.
"How is California?" Ginny asked.
"The greatest. And I made a friend today." I informed Ginny. "She's really cool and she owns this amazing bookstore. She's thirty-eight and has all this life in her. She's traveled all over with her husband and she's written books. Gin, this woman knows the secret to looking young forever."
"Oh, please share. I'm starting to look nineteen instead of eighteen. It's the dark circles under my eyes." Ginny joked. I laughed.
"You'd love it here. I mean, if you hadn't already found home in Paris, you'd be moving in next door." I said.
"I wish I could but I'm already in love with Paris." Ginny answered dreamily. "I even found a place for my boutique in France." Ginny informed me what I had missed in the one day I was gone and then I told her all about my house. Unfortunately she fell asleep at the end and I didn't even realize until Harry came on the line. I began catching up with him until Ron came home.
Nearly ten minutes after her daddy walked in, Willa began crying. Ron was happy to go change her and bring her back downstairs. She lay in her playpen watching Midnight watch her while Ron and I got dinner ready. I told him all about Jenna (it was the explanation for all of the fruits and organically stocked refrigerator as well as the books on the table) and Ron told me about the California Gazette. Apparently they had casual Fridays and the people were really friendly and easy to get along with.
After dinner (for us and Willa), we put Willa down to sleep and Ron and I sat out on the balcony right off of our bedroom watching the sunset. It was small, only big enough for two chairs and for Midnight to curl up in a corner but it was cozy.
"What are you thinking about?" I asked as I watched Ron look up at the sunset as if he were thinking about something. Ron turned and looked at me with a smile.
"Just how much I love you." Ron answered.
"Seriously." I said. Ron chuckled.
"Honestly, I was just thinking about how fast we had to grow up." Ron answered. "At least five of the people I met today pointed out to me that I've done so much in almost twenty years. Part of it was going through what we did at school and part of it was getting married and having a baby."
"Do you feel like you're missing out on something?" I questioned.
"No, no. It's not like that." Ron assured me. "I was just wondering what's left?" I opened my mouth to respond but I wasn't sure how to answer.
"Everything." I finally decided. "We've got Willa, you're going to be a big time newspaper guy, I'll be a teacher and years from now we'll still have each other." I turned my gaze to the setting sun. "And if we can't think of anything else to do in the next twenty years we can always go to Disney Land when we get bored." Ron chuckled but then his expression was serious.
"We'll still go to Disney Land even if we do all that stuff you said before…right?" Ron asked. I laughed.
"Of course Ron. Willa and I know how much fun you'll have there." I said. Ron smiled and leaned over to kiss me. I decided not to point out to him that there was still some growing up to do but I kissed him back and the next thing I knew, I was trying to slide open the door to the bedroom while my lips were caught in Ron's and his arms were wrapped around me.
There was so much done in the first twenty years of our lives…but there was so much to do in the next twenty as well…and the twenty after that. And we still had to make Willa's first twenty memorable as well.
Several steps and an ocean away from our original life in a small apartment in London with regular jobs, going dancing every week we were now parents who had lived in Paris, become successful with our chosen careers, have a decent sized house, and go to Willa's doctor once a week. As we adjusted to having a baby around things would change again. Some things would go back to normal and some would never be the same.
Ron and I had our whole lives ahead of us and living was exactly what we were going to do here in our new home, California…
a/n: ok, no lie. this is a true story. I went to California in March and came back and showed the pictures to my friends. Every single one of them said "ooo your Uncle's hot" and I was thinking 'ew, he's my uncle and he's thirty-seven' so when I told them this, everyone said that he and my aunt didn't look like they were thirty-eight and thirty-seven. And it's true because they take care of themselves like Jenna said. I wanted someone to introduce Hermione into this kind of lifestyle which, in my opinion, is the California lifestyle (ok not the lifestyle but the lifestyle that I want Ron and Hermione to have and pass on to their daughter) with all the organic food and stuff. But Jenna will end up as Hermione's mentor and this was her intro into the story. Other new characters will be introduced within the next few chapters.
I hope you all liked it!! Please review and let me know! I promise I'll update as soon as I can. Oh and let me know what you thought of the fifth movie. Evannah (sp?) was brilliant as Luna. She was the absolute perfect person to play her and Unbridge..well she was a bitch but that's what she is. My favorite part was when Ron tried to hit Grawp with the tree branch to save Hermione. It was cute.
Send me e-mails after you read the seventh book if you want. I want to talk about it afterwards but none of my friends read Harry Potter excpet one (that's you Bec!) and my dad takes forever to read so please e-mail me if you want to talk about it!!!